Thursday, November 10, 2005

Almadina Egyptian Cuisine

Almadina Egyptian Cuisine
150 University Ave. West
Waterloo, Ontario

This week some coworkers brought in Baklava from Almadina Egyptian to celebrate "Eid al Fitr" (feast at the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting). Syrup, crashed nuts and lots of butter in between phyllo layers make it "sinfully" tasty. This reminds me of my dining experience at Almadina Egyptian.

When I first came to Waterloo, I lived quite close to the campus. And I didn't cook, at all. Still, it took me several months before I finally decided to step in this restaurant. It was relatively dark and quiet. And I just didn't know what I could order. Luckily one day I went there for lunch with a friend, who was a "regular".

Their dishes were not as heavy/greasy as I expected; in fact, some were served with yogurt. I went there quite often for a period of time and sampled most of the common items. Alas, I still can't remember how to pronounce those dishes. The chicken quarter was normally moist inside and crispy outside. The hummus is nice but there is nice hummus somewhere else. My favorite dish, other than their baklava, is actually their rice side dish. It is rice mixed with buttery short fried noodles. It is kind of chewy but not crispy. I found this site through Google search. Based on the recipes provided on this site, I believe "Riz bi Sh'areh" (rice and vermicelli) is the dish.

I almost forgot to mention this. Recently they set up booth at Farmer's Market. You can get steamy hot wrap from them. I tried it once, the beef was nicely flavored. It wasn't very spicy because I asked for the non-spicy version.


twg said...

When I went to University in Waterloo, I lived with a bunch of guys that lived right now to Almadina. One day we decided to try the place out... lo and behold, the food was very tasty, the meats were cooked just right, wasn't overly spicy, and had a very unique taste that I've never had before. The portions were generous, wasn't overly pricey (being a student, I was always conscious about getting the best portion/dollar ratio). After I graduated, I moved away and hadn't had a chance to go often, about 1 year ago, I suggested Almadina to my manager for a lunch meeting (annual review), and to my horror, the meat was overcooked, the eggplant was plain, some of the other sides tasted as if they were left for quite some time, the restaurant was empty. I was later told that one of the owners had passed away, and ever since, the food just wasn't the same. I haven't been back since that experience so not sure if it's gotten better or not. Thankfully my manager was able to distinguish between poor choice of restaurant vs work performance.

mila said...

i have been there a few times as it's a 'halal' meat place that one of my coworkers can go only.

since we have like 8-9 people, we ordered the special lunch, which the owner gave us enough portion of salad, meat, rice, potatoes etc so that we can try the different stuff in the restaurant. It was a very good deal too (around $12 with tax per person).

the portion is huge!! first they served a salad platter (greek salad and also some other types of 'salad'...such as the taboulee <-- dunno how to spell this word, some eggplant salad, etc etc, and the eggplant salad tastes sooooo good and i am not a eggplant-lover at all) then it comes lots and lots of meat (chicken, lamb etc) and it's quite spicy I think (not hot, but spicy). the hummus was OK I think. also it comes with rice and also fried potato. I love the potato!!! it's nicely spiced!

overall i think it's OK, i can handle the grease and meat maybe couple times a year.